This is one of those nights where a bunch of different thoughts are swooshing around in my mind, and I’m having a hard time latching onto any one of them about which to actually write a post. All the thoughts are somewhat interconnected, but yet each can stand on their own. I’m not even sure how I would put some of them into words.
So, I’ll pick the topic that seems most accessible for writing about today (and perhaps, most appropriate) and write about — tears. The wetness that creeps from your eyes on occasion, sometimes catching you off guard. I cried three times today. Let me share those with you:
1) I cried in the car today as I listened to the local country music station play “I’m Already There” with interspered voices of people telling their loved ones in the military how much they miss them and how much they’re waiting for them to come home. It took barely ten seconds for me to become a blubbery mess. Good thing I was at a red light, and good thing the song was mostly over.
(On a side note, I was thinking about 9/11 today, it being the 7th anniversary. Rush Limbaugh reminded me (I’ve started listening to him on occasion now that it’s getting close to election day) that we haven’t had a single terrorist attack since 9/11 on American soil. That’s something I’m truly grateful for, as there was a time when I was quite worried that terrorists would attack here in the Bay Area. There was a time when every night as JJ and I said our prayers together, that we thanked God for another day that had ended safely. I don’t worry about that quite as much anymore. I don’t pretend to know to from what our safety comes, if it’s due to Bush’s policies or if it’s in spite of Bush’s policies or just simply an act of God, but I am still so grateful for that safety. And it’s nice to no longer hear low-flying planes and have my heartrate increase.)
2) The next time I cried was tonight, as I was sauteeing onions for supper. I have eyes that are super-sensitive to onions. More than once, when my eyes have started tearing up on me, I’ve had to go outside into the fresh air just to make them stop watering. It can be rather annoying.
(If you’re interested, tonight I made Kielbasa and Bow Ties, except I used gemelli pasta, I only used half a pound of kielbasa, and I added Italian seasoning, chopped celery, and extra water early on, and chopped broccoli at the end. I’m trying to use up some food that’s been in my freezer for a while, and I decided it was time for this kielbasa to achieve its ultimate goal. It was a good, filling supper. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.)
3) I teared up talking to JJ about … theological issues, topics of which I really can’t go into here. Suffice to say, we live in the church militant here on earth, not the church triumphant like we will in heaven, and the church militant on earth will always have problems. It will never be perfect. I was listening to my St. Olaf Choir “Great Hymns of Faith: Vol. 2” this evening, and Amazing Grace came on. Not only is that choir in perfect tune (ahh!), but the words of that last verse strike me more than they ever did when I was younger:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.
During supper tonight, Lyd and I got to talking about heaven and hell and eternity, and her childlike faith made an impression on me. Plus I was again reminded of the fact that God was here before the world began, and will still be here when our world ends, and that every single person who has ever lived is or will be spending an eternity in heaven or an eternity in hell. Faith in Jesus: it’s that simple, and yet that complicated. There are so many variations on Christianity, and almost all of them lead to various kinds of slippery slopes, but the most basic message of faith remains so incredibly simple:
For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
These divisions in the church pain me so deeply. And, at times, it brings me to tears. I look forward to heaven, not only because the pain and sorrow of this world will be gone, but because all believers will finally be united and of one mind, a unity that will forever elude God’s people while they live on earth.
Tears of sadness, tears of joy, tears of thankfulness, and tears chemically induced by onions. It all makes for one sappy Emily tonight.
(Deep breath). Okay. Enough emotion. I am going to go watch “The Office” reruns while washing up my dishes, and I am going to bed early tonight. Curious J only woke up once the last two nights — hopefully she’ll make it 3 in a row tonight and really be on a roll!